11 Weird Ways Your Morning Routine Is Messing Up Your Work Day
Has your life been crazy, stressful, and out of control? If so, it may be a good idea to pause and consider ways your morning routine can mess up your day. Because, like it or not, how you spend those first few hours can really set the tone for what's to come.
This is especially the case for work days, which can derail in the blink of an eye. Think back to all the times you showed up to your job late and stressed. Did the day go well? Did you get anything done? I'm guessing the answer is no.
Now compare that to days you woke up early, had a healthy morning routine, and then got to work on time. I'm sure the day went much more smoothly. You probably felt relaxed, organized, and focused. And I'm sure you got a ton of stuff done. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a much better way to spend the day.
If you're one of those mystical, magical people who likes mornings, then this might not seem like news. For the rest of us, the idea of waking up with enough time to do anything can sound pretty groundbreaking. However, even morning people can take note, as setting the tone for your day is so much more than just waking up on time. Turns out, your day can be affected by what you eat for breakfast, how much coffee you drink, and even whether or not you check emails. Crazy, right? Here are some more ways your morning routine (or lack thereof) can totally mess up your day.
1. You Forgot To Eat Breakfast
There seems to be quite the disagreement when it comes to eating breakfast. Personally, I can't live unless I immediately eat something when I wake up. Other people feel sick at the very idea of breakfast foods. And researchers are just as confused, with some arguing the importance of breakfast, while others are saying it's not actually that necessary. However, the pro breakfasters point out that skipping an a.m. meal can make you forgetful, cranky, and tired. In my opinion, that doesn't sound like a good way to spend the day. So do yourself a favor, and crack open an egg.
2. Your Breakfast Was Not That Of Champions
OK, so you ate breakfast. Good for you. But I bet you didn't include anything with protein. This is totally normal, since we've all been conditioned to eat delicious cereals and muffins for breakfast. And yet these foods are loaded with sugar and carbs, which do nothing good for blood sugar, and it can lead to a horrible mid-morning crash. As Janet Renee said Livestrong.com," When your blood glucose crashes, you may feel weak, irritable, sweaty, shaky and hungry, or experience a rapid heart rate or headache." Definitely not the makings of a productive work day.
3. You Had Way Too Much Caffeine
Now onto coffee — another important part of the morning. If you're anything like me, then I'm sure you wake up and get to work with the help of many, many cups. I get that it's a necessity to keep you awake and human-like throughout the morning. But have a few cups too many and a caffeine crash may be soon to follow. According to Shannon Hyland-Tassava on LIVESTRONG, "That's because caffeine initially stimulates your body to produce more adrenaline and dopamine than usual, two substances in your body that contribute to energy and positive mood; when these chemicals begin to drop again, you can experience fading energy and a drop in mood." It's best to stick to less than 250 milligrams a day, or find other ways to energize yourself in the morning.
4. You Hit Snooze 55,000 Times
I know it may feel good to smash your alarm clock, but hitting the snooze button is totally not worth it. As Corrie Pikul said in the Huffington Post, "... the body needs some time to get you ready to wake up. When you let yourself go back to sleep, your body thinks, 'False alarm! I guess I didn’t need to do anything, because we’re not getting up after all,' and settles in. When that buzzer goes off a second time, ... your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in that groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia." This tiredness can last for up to four hours, well into your work day.
5. You Forgot To Drink Water
Skipping out on morning hydration can have quite the negative effect on your day. As Ali Eaves noted MensHealth.com, "If you don't drink water in the morning, you'll be playing hydration catch-up for the rest of the day ... And when you’re low on H2O, you’re more likely to be in a bad mood, get confused, or feel tired, reports new research from France." So have at least three cups of water, and then bask in all your new-found energy.
6. You Didn't Take Any Time For Yourself
Has anyone ever had a good day after waking up late, struggling to get ready, and dashing out the door in a whirlwind? As I said above, I'm thinking not. That's why it's so important to schedule a few minutes to sit quietly — just you, yourself, and your thoughts. As Light Watkins noted on MindBodyGreen.com, "Meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers a deep state of relaxation during the practice. So even though you may wake up from sleep still tired, after meditating for 20 minutes, you’ll get energy-boosting endorphins that’ll help you spring to life without having to rely solely on caffeine." Sounds pretty good to me.
7. You Were A Disorganized Mess
Your morning routine has to include some sort of organization, or else you'll show up to work disheveled, stressed, and without that important paper. To start with, get into the habit of putting your morning essentials in the same spot every day. Hang up your coat, keep your shoes and bag by the front door, and have your important papers ready to go. You'll show up to work with everything you need, along with some peace of mind.
8. You Plunged Right Into Those Emails
All it takes is one innocent glance at your email, and suddenly you're wrapped up in work before you've even gotten out of bed. This is, as you might have guessed, not the best way to start the day. As Dr. Travis Bradberry noted on the Huffington Post, "When you dive straight into e-mails, texts, and Facebook, you lose focus and your morning succumbs to the wants and needs of other people. It’s much healthier to take those precious first moments of the day to do something relaxing that sets a calm, positive tone for your day." (See aforementioned meditation suggestion.)
9. You Got Sucked Into The TV
Your morning was going so well, and then you got sucked into a TV vortex. This can be easy to do, especially since we all love a good binge. And yet it's a total waste of a good morning. It's much better to be TV-free before work so you can have time to adjust and wake up, without something blaring in the background. Or worse, making you late.
10. You Forgot To Set Goals For The Day
With everything else going on — drinking water, meditating, avoiding the TV — it can feel like setting goals for the day is the last thing you'd have time to do. But it's such a key aspect of having a productive (or even mildly good) day. According to Bradberry, "Research shows that having concrete goals is correlated with huge increases in confidence and feelings of control. Setting goals specific to the day puts everything into motion." Take a second each morning to jot down your daily to-do list, with some reachable goals in mind, and then set off to get things done.
11. You Road Raged Your Way To Work
Congrats, you successfully made it out of the house. And for what? To road rage your way to work? I certainly hope not. As Eaves said, "Spending your ride to work seething over traffic won’t just make you miserable that morning — it makes for a miserable life, according to recent Swedish research ... The daily trip has an important impact because it preps you for the day to come and is a buffer between home and work life, the researchers say." To make the most of your commute, and to prevent losing your damned mind in traffic, be sure to leave on time. You can also bring some entertainment — think audio books, podcasts, or that foreign language CD you've been meaning to study. You'll show up to work feeling accomplished, and oh so very relaxed.
And that's really what morning routines are all about — starting the day off on the right foot, so you can feel calm, focused, and organized at work. So check on your bad habits, and see what could use a little tweak or two.
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